MLB notes: Francona not testing successor's booze ban

Bobby Valentine reacts as he puts on a jersey after being introduced as the new Boston Red Sox...

Bobby Valentine reacts as he puts on a jersey after being introduced as the new Boston Red Sox manager at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts December 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Adam Hunger)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:02 PM ET

First, Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine exchanged jobs.

Now, they're exchanging barbs.

Francona, the former Boston Red Sox manager, said Monday that Valentine's decision to ban alcohol in the clubhouse was a public relations ploy.

Francona is now a commentator for ESPN, while Valentine -- who used to work for ESPN -- is now the Red Sox manager.

Valentine, who banished booze on Saturday, defended the move Monday, telling the Boston Herald in Fort Myers, Fla., that he has implemented the policy in his other managerial stops.

As for Francona's comment, Valentine responded: "Remember, you (Francona) are getting paid over there for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff. I've done both."

Francona said on ESPN Radio that Valentine was reacting to the Rex Sox collapse down the stretch last season and the negative ink they got when it was learned some players drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.

"I think it's a PR move," Francona said on ESPN Radio. "I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one."

ZUMAYA PONDERS RETIRING

Former pitching sensation Joel Zumaya is considering retirement after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Zumaya -- who has had numerous injuries since emerging in 2006 as a phenom who could throw 100 m.p.h. -- would need Tommy John surgery in order to extend his career.

"I know I'm young, but I'm going to probably be going on six surgeries if I get another one," Zumaya told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"I'm only 27 years old and I've taken a lot of wear and tear on my body, especially my arm, and then rehab -- it's a lot out of you.

"So I have a little two-and-a-half-year-old; maybe it's time to move on. I'm a pretty dang good fisherman, so I might pursue professional fishing."

In 2006 with the Detroit Tigers, Zumaya had a 1.94 earned-run average with 97 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings. Since then has had two elbow surgeries, two shoulder surgeries and surgery on a finger.

He signed a one-year, $850,000 contract in the off-season with the Minnesota Twins, hoping to revive his career.

I guess you're not meant to throw a baseball as hard as I do," said Zumaya, who expects to take a day or two to decide whether to have surgery or retire.

NO DREAD FOR RED

Left-handed reliever Sean Marshall has signed a three-year, $16.5-million contract extension with the Cincinnati Reds.

"I'm super excited," said Marshall, who has been reunited with Dusty Baker, who also managed him in 2006 with the Chicago Cubs.

Marshall spent six seasons with the Cubs, evolving from a starting pitcher into one of game's most effective left-handed relievers. Marshall's ERA was 2.65 in 2010, then dipped to 2.26 in 2011.

The 29-year-old, who was obtained by the Reds in an off-season trade, had five saves last season and is expected to be the setup man for new closer Ryan Madson.

BRIEFLY

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson hopes to join the team for a full workout Tuesday, saying he has recovered from a mild concussion suffered in a car accident last week. Concussion testing Monday showed no complications, he said ...

New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon said the sale of $140-million worth of minority shares will help get the team out of a financial hole. Wilpon told ESPNNewYork.com he is close to completing the sale of seven $20-million shares in the Mets. Wilpon was a victim of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, putting his ownership of the Mets in jeopardy ... Billionaire Steve Cohen, St Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and a group headed by Magic Johnson are among seven parties who advanced to the next round of bids to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources said ... Yu Darvish will make his first start March 7 versus the San Diego Padres, the Texas Rangers announced Monday. His start is expected to be televised live in Japan ... Bobby Abreu has backed off on a "play me or trade me" demand, telling MLB.com that he is "OK" with getting 400 plate appearances as a designated hitter and occasional outfielder. Abreu, who turns 38 on March 11, met Monday with Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "I'm fine," Abreu said. "I'm OK. We're talking about 400 (plate appearances)."


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